IMANI GH, ADAM-GH OTHER CSO’S EXPOSED EC’S FALLACY OVER NEW VOTER’S REGISTER

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Anchoring Democracy Advocacy Movement Ghana has joined IMANI Ghana and other Civil Society Groups to provide evidence to enlighten Ghanaians over what it describe as Electoral Commission’s untruth about the Biometric Verification Systems.

Below is the unedited statement signed by the Executive Secretary Mr. Azubila Salam Emmanuel

Anchoring Democracy Advocacy Movement Ghana (ADAM-GH) joined IMANI GHANA and other civil society groups to Provide Graphical Evidence to Counter the Electoral Commission’s Dangerous Untruths About Biometric Verification Systems.

The civil society groups we think it has become necessary to come out with full fact about the new voters Register which has become NDC and NPP banter. Ghanains must know the real truth about the new voters Register saga.

There has been heightened interest in the worrying conduct of Ghana’s electoral management body, the Electoral Commission (EC).

Supposedly clothed with an insurmountable constitutional power to evade critical scrutiny from its stakeholders, the EC opened itself up for many civil society organisations and individual civic actors to appraise its conduct the more, especially for their very wild financial claims of saving the country millions of dollars by procuring what has now emerged to be the most expensive, unverified and unnecessary biometric systems since Ghana adopted the technology.

When a person get age 15 upwards their fingerprints never changes even when you are 100 + and therefore, biometric data captured through finger print is unique and does not expire.

The collation of civil society groups including ADAM-GH headed by IMANI GHANA responded to the EC’s fallacious reasons given to compile new voters Register with huge sums of money which was presented to the public today in Accra and demonstrated among others that;

a. The EC has blatantly and consistently lied about the true facts of the current biometric system and its ongoing effort to procure a new one for a reason best known to them.

b. The EC’s claims that it will cost just $56 million to procure a new system whilst the cost of refreshing and maintaining the existing one would cost $74 million are untruth.

c. Challote Osei was removed with frivolous allegation of procurement malpractices but Jean Mensah’s tender recently completed by the EC is a sham and revealations indicates that the EC plans to spend $72 million on hardware alone.

IMANI, ADAM-GH and other civil society groups believes that by the time software and services are added the total costs for technology alone will amount to $85 million.

d. Compared to a limited registration to capture just those not on the voters’ register, a fresh mass registration shall cost $50 million. Refreshing the existing technology at competitive prices will cost just about $15 million.

e. Hence the total loss to Ghana of the EC’s actions amount to $150 million, which is equivalent to Ghc 825 million if one factors in contingency. If the fact that thousands of perfectly good equipment that gave us 99.6% delivery in the recent district level elections shall be thrown away without any tangible reason then Ghanains your guess is as good as mine.

f. But economic cost is not the only thing to be worried about. The EC also bungled the procurement process, leaving a trail of evidence suggesting tender-rigging. This has opened the process to litigation and delay.

g. The EC used one day to disqualify well-qualified bidders, claiming that they had reputational problems, when the vendor it awarded the tender to, after the one day of evaluation, Thales (and its Gemalto unit) has even bigger scandals hanging over its head. In fact, it was once globally blacklisted by the World Bank.

h. The EC’s tender processes were so bad that the Chairman of the technical evaluation panel dissociated himself from the results forcing the EC to discard a 4-month process and compress it into a one-week evaluation. The company on whose behalf the tender was being manipulated is the only one whose score tally doesn’t add up. The EC insists that you must accept that 85 + 13 = 104 instead of 98.

i. At any rate, the timeframe for negotiating a proper contract; designing better specifications to correct the many things the EC claims are wrong with the existing system; securing procurement approvals; integrating disparate software and hardware systems from different vendors; and deploying and testing the platform cannot be fitted within the EC’s artificial timeline of April 18th 2020 for the commencement of registration.

j. The proposed mediation process by Gamey & Co Alternate Dispute Resolution Center is wise and must be considered by all parties.

We not save if the EC’s conduct at this early stage is engulfed with blatant lies then respectfully Ghanains must join civil society groups to save our mother Ghana. The critical aspects of the preparedness of Ghana’s Electoral Commission to conduct credible, peaceful, free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections in 2020 is our biggest concern.

Thales is a French Company that was blacklisted by the World bank 2004-2006 the Company Jean Mensah awarded the contract to procure through opaque procurement process to supply the system for the 2020 General Elections.

Who is THALES GELMATOS COMPANY?

Thales Gelmatos company currently being sued by the Estonian Government for messing up their National Identification System, is the Company Jean Mensah is a trusted company for Jean Mensah and her team.

Thales Gelmatos Company currently found guilty in South Africa for bribing Former President Jacob Zuma is the Company we are talking about here to handle our crucial upcoming December 2020 elections.

When the E.C opened the tender for the procurement of the hardware(BVD and BVRs kits), there was also another lot of tender process for the Software program to run the system which a different Company emerged as the winner of that bid.

For convenience and proper responsibility of our electoral system, the usual practice is that, one Company always supply the hardware and another supply the software for transparency purposes.

Currently the E.C is almost done handing over the Contract for the procurement of Software to Thales Gelmatos Company.

The information available to us is that Smartmatics Company won the bid for the supply of the hardware, the E.C took the deal from them and handed it over to Thales Company, thereafter, another Company also won the bid for the supply of the software and information reaching us that Thales Company which engulfed with fraud internationally is taking over that one as well.
Ghanaians should not be surprise if the E.C innitial amount of USD 56 million has changed to over USD 150 million.

Yours sincerely,
Signed:
Azubila Salam Emmanuel.
Executive Secretary of ADAM-GH

Source: Muhammed Faisal Mustapha

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